Chapter 51.2

It was reported that she had ingested a dangerous surplus of sleeping pills. Park Su-jeong had been grappling with severe depression for a year, diligently following a medication regimen that included hospital-prescribed sleeping pills.

The first person to discover this harrowing truth was her adoptive mother, Hee-ae. Her daughter, who had intermittently maintained contact from abroad, had left an unexpectedly significant message. It carried an air of gratitude for her upbringing and a wish for her mother’s happiness, even in the absence of self-assurance.

Upon receiving this message, Hee-ae and her husband raced to their daughter’s apartment, their hearts heavy with trepidation. They vigorously rang the doorbell and pounded on the door for what felt like an interminable ten minutes, only to be met with silence from within.

When the police, at last summoned and dispatched, breached the door, they encountered a dreadful scene. Park Su-jeong had already fallen unconscious. An empty pill bottle lay discarded beneath the bed, accompanied by a scattered array of around a dozen pills. The extent of the overdose remained uncertain.

But one truth remained irrefutable: Park Su-jeong’s life teetered on the brink of death at that very moment.

“Su-jeong, Su-jeong. Please… What do we do? Try to open your eyes, okay? Look at Mom. Please, breathe. Honey, what’s happening to our Su-jeong? Why did our child do this? Why…?”

“Su-jung’s mom, calm down… Please, calm down for now. The doctor will take good care of her. Right… Doctor? Please, I beg you… Please save our child!”

“How could you… How could you leave Mom and do this… Why did you…?”

The anguish felt like sharp knives mercilessly piercing their hearts. Hee-ae, leaning on her husband Jeong-sik, felt as though her very soul was unraveling.

Urgently, they transferred her from the ambulance to the emergency room, but Park Su-jeong’s breath had already grown faint. Under the dimming candle of her life, her parents choked back their tears.

Even in this dwindling moment, Jeong-sik sensed the need to relay a somber truth. Amid the frenetic efforts of the medical team striving to revive Su-jeong, Jeong-sik dialed Yi-soo with a trembling voice, remembering their last encounter which was already a long time ago. 

In a matter of a day, Park Su-jeong’s funeral was scheduled, and Yi-soo had visited Su-jeong’s apartment to gather her belongings.

Hyun-seong offered his support, knowing that she couldn’t face this task alone. They folded a sturdy cardboard box, handling Su-jeong’s belongings with care.

Seated in a chair, Yi-soo tenderly wiped the dust from the desk with her palm, her voice but a quiet murmur.

“Why did it happen?”

Questions swirled in her mind. When had Su-jeong returned to Korea? Why hadn’t she reached out immediately upon her return? The news of her sister’s death was difficult enough to accept, but the circumstances leading to her taking her own life remained inscrutable.

Suddenly, her thoughts turned to the SNS records the police had shown her. It was a private account with no followers and no following, meticulously locked to ensure privacy. Su-jeong had seemingly used this secluded space as a diary.


November 14, 2020

It’s been almost ten years since I started this job, and the world hasn’t changed a bit. Will society ever change? Maybe I’m not alone in struggling in this place.

March 9, 2021

Manager Park really annoys me. It’s driving me crazy… If you’re going to do the job like that, why are you even getting paid? Ah, I need a drink! Damn bastard.

December 25, 2021

It’s Christmas, but I’m so busy. I wonder if I can buy a hotel cake this year.


Her posts spanned from reflections on her profession to the mundanities of daily life, their frequency not particularly high but indicative of consistent usage.

However, what drew the attention of the authorities were her entries from the past six months. Even a casual reader could sense the growing darkness of her inner thoughts.


February 3, 2022

How long can I continue working as a journalist… I have no talent, no perseverance, and yet I keep holding on. It’s been like this since I was young. I should know when to give up, but it’s not easy. Am I really holding onto something tight?”

May 12, 2022

I don’t want to take depression medication. When I take it, I feel numb and sleepy. I slept for 14 hours yesterday. What a waste… Why am I wasting my breath? I’ll probably skip it for another week and then take them all at once.

May 19, 2022

It’s f*cking….

August 31, 2022

I think I’m about to quit soon. I’ve endured as much as I could, right? 


Recalling dozens of posts, Yi-soo felt her heart tearing apart once again. She wiped her face and let out a heavy sigh.

Hyun-seong, meticulously packing thick press books into boxes, looked up at Yi-soo with a furrowed brow. “Seo Yi-soo, are you okay?” he inquired, genuine concern etched into his features.

Yi-soo nodded, her voice slightly shaky. “Ah, yes. I just felt a bit dizzy for a moment.”

“You didn’t have to sort through her things today. We can continue after the funeral, can’t we?” Hyun-seong suggested. Though he may have appeared stoic, she knew that he deeply cared for her. His presence alone was a wellspring of strength that supported her in these trying times.

“It’s okay. I’d rather get it organized before it’s too late,” Yi-soo insisted. She managed a forced smile and instinctively opened the first drawer. Amidst an assortment of miscellaneous items, several sheets of paper lay on top.

Huh? Her gaze drifted across the contents, and in an instant, her pupils dilated. Simultaneously, an eerie shiver raced down her spine.



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